Everyone has their favorite holiday recipes and traditions that give a sense of continuity and comfort. That said, it’s always fun to learn about other people’s favorites, and perhaps incorporate them into our own celebrations. Stuart Adelman and Cindy Geiser, both members of Plymouth Magazine’s editorial advisory board, share what Thanksgiving is like at their homes.
Stuart J. Adelman
Owner of Artelle Designs, master goldsmith and amateur chef.
Growing up, Thanksgiving side dishes were a little scary for me. Casserole concoctions, veggies from cans (usually mixed with other things from cans), a bunch of stuff mixed together to form a dry mass called dressing, and other often unidentifiable vegetables either drowning in sauce, cooked beyond recognition, or both! All of these conglomerations were presented as if they were the tastiest things on earth. But since I believed that if a pea touched a carrot they were both ruined, none of these elaborate side dishes were going to get near my turkey, let alone my mouth.
So it should be no surprise that when I got old enough to host Thanksgiving, vegetable side dishes were going to be different—simple, identifiable and tasty. Since I outgrew my fear of vegetables touching each other, I could mix some things together, but I didn’t have a lot of time to cook. So I took a couple of our favorite veggies—Brussels sprouts and carrots—mixed them with some olive oil and chunky garlic pieces, and roasted them. Simple! The first time we served this, we made a lot, and were looking forward to leftovers, because we were sure most people would go for the other concoctions that the relatives brought that everyone was used to. Wrong assumption—the platter looked like starving locusts swooped down and devoured every bit, so don’t be afraid to make extra. If the worst thing that happens is you have leftovers, you will be very happy. It will still be tasty a week later. Happy Thanksgiving!
Roasted Carrots and Brussels Sprouts
Servings: About 25
Total time: 70 min.
Active time: 20 min.
- 5 lbs. carrots, cut into bite size pieces
- 5 lbs. Brussels sprouts (preferably local) – small ones left whole, large ones halved
- 1-2 heads garlic, coarsely chopped
- Olive oil to coat
- Salt and pepper to taste (But do use enough salt—it will bring the sweetness out of the carrots, and the flavor out of the sprouts.)
- Preheat oven to 400.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together all ingredients except the salt. If preparing in advance, cover and refrigerate until an hour or so before cooking.
- Spread veggies out on sheet pans in a single layer, taking care not to overcrowd them. (We do several pans and rotate them.)
- Add salt and pepper evenly so that each piece has some on it
- Roast for 20-25 minutes, then turn veggies over (as best as possible), and roast for another 20 minutes or so.
Keep an eye, and nose, out towards the end. If you start to smell something charring, remove from oven. If you like them less roasted, take them out early. They are still good even when over cooked. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil if you like. Eat up—yum!
Head of Optimistic People/Director of Human Resources for ClickSWITCH.
Thanksgiving is by far—my husband’s favorite holiday. Therefore, nothing (ever!) can get in the way of tradition when celebrating Thanksgiving in our house. It will always remain the same, forever and ever.
We go through this holiday together! We actually start the night before and go out for fun appetizers at a local restaurant to just relax and get into the holiday spirit. On Thanksgiving morning, we get up early to start cooking.
I run to Caribou Coffee for our morning hot drinks and my husband starts his work on the glazed bone-in ham. (We opt for ham instead of turkey, knowing our kids will already have had their fill of turkey at their in-laws upon arriving at our house.) At 10 a.m., the Macy’s Day parade comes on while we are cooking and I put together the cheesy potato casserole and the once-a-year, always a tradition—scalloped corn. This is a recipe that was given to me over 30 years ago and it is always expected at the table on Thanksgiving. (The key to a yummy scalloped corn recipe is a thick layer of buttery browned cracker crumbs on top.) We keep it simple at Thanksgiving. We opt out of breads and rolls, pass on condiments and just have the best crusted baked ham, potatoes and scalloped corn! When the football games start, the coffee and wine appear and out come desserts mid-afternoon.
On Thanksgiving evening, I start making escape plans for Black Friday shopping with my daughters-in-law. We head out at 6 a.m. and make a full day of it. For me, Christmas is truly my favorite holiday and it starts at 12:01 a.m. the day AFTER Thanksgiving!
Cindy's Scalloped Corn
Yield: 6-8 servings
Total time: About 80 min.
Active time: About 15 min.
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 3 Tbsp. butter, melted
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. finely chopped onion
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 4 cups fresh or frozen corn
- 1 cup crushed saltines browned in butter (keep some out for the top!) Feel free to go overboard on this ingredient! There is nothing better than browned saltine crackers as a topper!
- Preheat oven to 325°. In a large bowl, whisk the first seven ingredients until blended. Stir in corn and 1/2 cup of the crushed saltines.
- Transfer to a greased 1-1/2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining saltines. Bake, uncovered, 55-65 minutes or until golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.